UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive

UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive
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The United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, according to diplomats representing the council's 15 nations.

Reuters reported that the five European nations, including Poland, Britain, France, Germany and Belgium, requested that a meeting be held Thursday.

The meeting comes as the Turkish military began moving against Kurdish forces that were fighting ISIS in northern Syria, just days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE announced that U.S. troops would leave the area.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement earlier this week condemning reports that Turkish forces would soon move into northern Syria.

“Civilians and civilian infrastructure should be protected,” a U.N. spokesman told Reuters. “The secretary-general believes that there’s no military solution to the Syrian conflict.”

Trump's announcement was condemned by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington, who said the Trump administration was abandoning the Kurds, a U.S. ally in the war against ISIS.

“The President’s decision will have severe consequences for our strategic national interests and reduce American influence in the region while strengthening Turkey, Russia, and Iran,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamInspector general testifies on FBI failures: Five takeaways Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe Conservatives rip FBI over IG report: 'scathing indictment' MORE (R-S.C.), who has been a strong supporter of the president, wrote in conjunction with Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDOJ inspector general refutes Trump claim that Obama tapped his wires Live coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill The real US patent 'crisis' MORE (D-Del.).

“The decision also dramatically increases the threat to our Kurdish allies, who helped destroy ISIS’s territorial caliphate, and will impair our ability to build strategic alliances in the future," he added.

Trump on Wednesday sought to distance himself from the Turkish offensive.

"This morning, Turkey, a NATO member, invaded Syria. The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea," the president said in a statement.